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Issue 2.88 | Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 | Mmmmm ... those shrimp are good

UNDY 500:
Riders brought bags of underwear for Sunday's second annual Undy 500 Motorcycle Charity Ride to raise awareness and funds for events and programs for local homeless veterans. Nearly 350 riders participated, up 65 percent from last year, and the undies they contributed overflowed two large bins. The clothes will be distributed at the Annual Stand Down Against Homelessness hosted by Goodwill and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center on Oct. 28 and 29 at Armory Park in North Charleston. Hundreds of veterans and community homeless will receive medical and dental screenings, clothing, food, haircuts and job and legal counseling. (Picture provided.)

:: Getting your financial house in order


:: Diving into the Lowcountry

:: Five for pets

:: Shredding, Green Fair, more

:: Education honor, Piccolo, mini-grants

:: Good column on precincts


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next

___:: REVIEW: Send us a review

___:: HISTORY: Ashley River

___:: QUOTE: Recently ignorant

___:: SPOTLIGHT: Meet an underwriter


ABOUT US offers insightful community comment and good news on events twice each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. What readers say


TODAY'S FOCUS | permalink
Getting your financial house in order

Financial adviser, Commonwealth Financial Group
Special to

SEPT. 23, 2010 - Just as it's important to have your house ready for the height of hurricane season - plywood to board up windows, loose shingles repaired - it's crucial to have your financial house in order, as well. What would happen if you suddenly had to evacuate? What if you returned to find your home destroyed? Would you have gathered the necessary financial documents so there was no interruption in your financial life?


Create and maintain a legacy box where you store important financial information, making it easy to take in the event of a hurricane, a fire or if you lost a spouse. Oftentimes, one spouse tends to have a more active role in handling the family finances, and the one left behind may not even know what accounts exist and where they are held. This legacy box can be a valuable tool that saves a lot of time and stress.

I recommend using a file box you can grab easily (fireproof and waterproof options are available). Create a master document that details all pertinent information and then have a file folder for each category containing necessary documents.

Include the following:

  • Property information: address, purchase price, owner(s), purchase date and current market value. Include your primary residence and any other real estate holdings. In a file titled "real estate," add property tax statements. Keep deeds in your bank safe deposit box.

  • Mortgage information, including mortgage company name, loan number, owner(s), start date, interest date, original loan time period, payment amount and frequency, and outstanding principle amount. In a file titled "liabilities," include loan statements.

  • Personal assets listing (cars, boats, etc) to include asset name, purchase amount, owner(s), purchase date and current market value. Also list all information on any related loans and include loan statements in the "liabilities" file.

  • Listing of all financial assets such as checking accounts, savings account, CDs, non-qualified investment accounts, college savings funds, 401(k), pension plans, IRAs and annuities. Include the name of the asset (type of account) and financial institution, account number, owner(s) and approximate market value. Include web address, login and password information on all online-access accounts. Keep a copy of a statement on each of your accounts in a file titled "investments." If you own any stock certificates be sure to keep those in your safe deposit box.

  • Listing of insurance information, including medical, homeowner's, auto and umbrella insurance with the name of insured(s), insurance company, policy number, annual premium, company phone number, agent name and coverage limits. For life insurance, include company name, policy number, type, insured, policy-owner, beneficiary, annual premium and death benefit. For disability and long-term care insurance, include company name, policy number, name of insured, waiting period, benefit period, benefit amount and monthly premium. In a file titled "health insurance," include your medical, long-term care and disability insurance policies. Place your life insurance policies in a file titled "life insurance" and place your homeowner's, umbrella, and car insurance policies in a file named "property and casualty insurance."

  • Include a listing of your professional advisers and their contact information (attorney, CPA, trustee, financial adviser, primary physician and clergy).

  • Information on your safe deposit box, such as bank name, box number and location of key and what important documents are in it: will, trust agreements, power of attorney, birth certificate, marriage license, car titles and deeds. Place copies of these documents in a file in the box titled legal documents, but always house the originals in your bank safe deposit box.

Get in the habit of updating this information regularly -- each time a new large purchase is made and a liability is retired. Also, update the statements on investments periodically to reflect a more appropriate market value.

While putting together a tool like this will take some time, it will save you both time and money in the long run. With your financial house in order, it will be so much easier for you and your family to access important information at critical times, giving you greater peace of mind today and more security for yourself and your heirs tomorrow.

Jennifer G. Blanchard is a financial adviser with Commonwealth Financial Group on Daniel Island. She can be reached at 843-884-4545 or

CURRENTS | permalink
Welcome to the Lowcountry! Here's how to dive right in
By ANN THRASH, contributing editor

SEPT. 23, 2010 - A nice young couple from Atlanta moved to our street recently - - husband, wife, year-old baby, and two dogs.


In the days since we first met them, I've found myself keeping a mental list of stuff I want to be sure to tell them next time I see them -- not just things like "Recycling gets picked up every other Wednesday," but things that might help them explore and enjoy the Lowcountry even more during these first few settling-in months.

Here are a couple of the things on my list -- and if you've got additions or suggestions, e-mail me and I'll pass your advice along in a future column.

  • Take in a Citadel football game. The Bulldogs do pageantry better than anyone else in town. The entire Corps of Cadets marches into the stadium shortly before the game begins, and there are bagpipers and a great band (the Regimental Band) and Spike the Bulldog. Add in Tony the Peanut Man and it's a winning combination on a Saturday afternoon.

  • Go to one of the locally owned garden centers for advice on anything you might want to do in your yard. No offense to the big-box stores, but the local guys can always tell you what really, REALLY works here and what doesn't - like if you plant pansies right now, they'll be toast by Halloween. The local garden centers also tend to have excellent selections of native plants that have become acclimated over the generations to our heat, humidity and bugs.

  • Go to one of the farmers markets, find a bench to sit on near the musical entertainment, and watch the people go by for a while. You can take your dogs on their leashes. Then stock up on veggies, pasta and fresh-cut flowers before heading home.

  • Buy some sweet-tasting fresh shrimp from the docks at Shem Creek. You know the surefire way to tell your shrimp are local? Buy them with the heads still on. If you're not sure how to head them and peel them, we'll show you.

  • Go to the Coastal Carolina Fair. It starts in just over a month (on Oct. 28), and it's a rite of fall in the Lowcountry. Buy food that you know is bad for you, ride the latest crazy roller coaster (before you eat, of course), spend a little too much change to win a hideous stuffed animal that the baby will love anyway, and enjoy the entertainers (James Gregory, Ricky Skaggs, 38 Special, and The Marvelettes, Coasters and Platters -- talk about something for everyone!). All the while, you'll be supporting the local charities that benefit from the fair every year, thanks to the Exchange Club of Charleston.

  • Try to avoid the intersection of Bowman Road and Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant during these three time periods: 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the rest of the day.

  • We've got so many wonderful restaurants here that it's hard to know where to start in figuring out which ones will ultimately become your favorites - but the 30th annual Taste of Charleston on Oct. 10 is a good way to sample fare from a diverse group of restaurants without having to put a ton of miles on the car. More than 50 local dining spots will set up shop at Boone Hall Plantation and serve sample portions of their specialties, and the event's sponsor, the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, always delivers a fun afternoon. It benefits great community causes, too.

  • In another few weeks, when you start hearing things about the Festival of Lights at James Island County Park and the Holiday Parade of Boats, mark the dates on your calendar and plan to go.

  • Hop a tour boat to Fort Sumter. It always surprises me how many longtime residents of the Lowcountry have never been out to see the historic fort in Charleston Harbor - lots of them seem to put it in the "I'll get around to that one day" category. But with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War coming up beginning next year, traffic to the fort is sure to pick up, so visit now, while the weather is moderate and the crowds aren't likely to be too bad.

  • If the mayor comes on TV during hurricane season and tells you to hit the road, do it.

Contributing editor Ann Thrash, a Mount Pleasant native, can be reached at:

Hopes people "get it" about need for precinct changes

To Charleston Currents:

I intended commenting last week on this very importance piece you wrote [Brack, 9/20] (concerning the need for change in party precinct organization). I am hoping this reaches the party deciders and will be a consideration in the near future.

Wonderful article, as are all in Charleston Currents. Outshines the P-C on any day.

-- Harriet Smartt, Isle of Palms

  • Send us your letters. We love getting input from you. If you have an opinion you'd like to share (150 words or less), send your letters to: We look forward to hearing from you!

Maybank Industries

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, SC. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.

Shred together, stay green together
By GREG GARVAN, contributing editor


SEPT. 23, 2010 - Staples Office Company is experimenting with a new green business feature, especially for small green businesses: do it yourself shredding. They have installed machines in the self-service copy areas in three districts across the country. It costs $5 for seven minutes of shredding and you can put in lots of pages at once, this is an industrial strength model. Imagine the tiny shredders that can now stay out of landfills while we use these shared machines.

Seeking terrific green stories: At a regional conference in North Carolina last week, a panel of five great pre-public companies talked about why being green businesses has made such a difference for them. Better World Books (Alabama and Georgia) and Namaste Solar (Colorado) were my two favorite stories. They put right out there in their everyday work and products the mission story of why they operate like they do. BW Books has saved over 35 million books from the landfill, and used them to support literacy programs all over the world! Who is doing something like this in the Charleston/ Lowcountry area and wants to share their story? Write and let me know.

Green Fair is Sunday: Last reminder for the Charleston Green Fair this Sunday at Marion Square from noon to 8 p.m. Come and be exposed to a world of green services and businesses and learn how you can add so much more green to your life.

Greg Garvan of James Island is president of Money with a Mission, an 18-year-old, fee-only financial planning firm that specializes in socially responsible/ 'green' asset management. On the Web:

GOOD NEWS | permalink
Riley among 3 Citadel grads to be Wall of Fame


Longtime Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. leads this year's list of inductees into The Citadel School of Education's Wall of Fame.

The Wall of Fame honors Citadel graduates and others who have distinguished themselves as educators and/or as supporters of public education. The third annual Wall of Fame banquet, an invitation only event, will take place Sept. 30.

Tony Johnson, dean of the School of Education, said in addition to recognizing individuals for their achievements, this Wall of Fame banquet is intended to highlight recent accomplishments of The Citadel School of Education and to solicit community support for its ongoing transformation into a great school of education.



All of the 2010 inductees are Citadel graduates. In addition to Riley, they are:

  • Sandra R. Lindsay, clinical professor in the Education Leadership and Polices Department of the College of Education at the University of South Carolina and former South Carolina deputy secretary of

  • Lucy Garrett Beckham, the 2010 MetLife/NASSP National High School Principal of the Year.

In addition to honoring this year's inductees, the School of Education will highlight the STEM Center of Excellence, a collaborative venture of the Schools of Education, Engineering, and Science and Mathematics to enhance educational opportunities in those disciplines.

Piccolo Spoleto applications due soon

The Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs is accepting applications for the 2011 Piccolo Spoleto Festival, May 27-June 12, 2011.

Applications for the Outdoor Juried Art Exhibition are due Oct. 1 and applications for the Piccolo Spoleto Fellowship are due Oct. 11.

Applications can be obtained from the Office of Cultural Affairs, 180 Meeting St., Suite 200, Charleston, S.C. 29401. For more information, call 724-7305.

Lowcountry teachers can apply for mini-grants

The Charleston County-area S.C. Project Impact Initiative is offering a mini-grant program to Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester County elementary and middle schools.

Grants will be given to schools that develop programs using art, music, theater or hands-on activities to educate students about the types of hazardous events that could impact the Lowcountry, and ways to minimize losses associated with these types of events.

Funding is also available for projects that educate students about environmental awareness and protection. The funding may be used for supplies or materials needed for these projects.

A total of $2,000 is available for local schools, and up to $500 will be distributed to the selected applicants.

The mini-grant program is funded by Project Impact, an ongoing initiative originally sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist local communities in becoming more disaster resistant.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. Nov. 3, and award notification will occur by Jan. 5. Applications can be downloaded.

New emergency, specialized vet clinic under construction

Lowcountry veterinarians who want to refer animals for specialized care and pet owners seeking emergency care for seriously ill animals will have a new veterinary hospital to turn to in March 2011.

Construction is under way at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center, 3484 Shelby Ray Court, off the Glenn McConnell Parkway in Charleston. The new 16,000-square-foot hospital will offer 24-hour, seven-day-a-week emergency and critical care, board certified specialists in a range of fields, and an imaging center including technologies such as MRI, CT scan, ultrasound and color flow Doppler, digital radiology and fluoroscopy. ?

The hospital's founder, Dr. Alan Green, has worked as a small animal veterinary practitioner for more than 25 years. Green, one of the founders of BrightHeart Veterinary Centers, a national network of advanced-care veterinary centers, retired to Kiawah Island in 2008. After a year of retirement, he found he missed his staff along with mentoring young veterinarians.

For more information, visit


HAVE A REVIEW? If you have a review or recommendation of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Marsha Guerard. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.

The Ashley River: A historic and natural treasure

Mile for mile, the relatively short Ashley River is perhaps unrivaled in the Southeast, if not the nation, for its history, its diversity of habitats, and its location in a major city. Emerging from the Wassamassaw and Cypress Swamps in Berkeley and Dorchester counties, it flows only about sixty miles before joining the Cooper River in Charleston harbor.

Despite its short length, the river transitions through three separate types of riverine ecosystems: a blackwater stream, a freshwater tidal river, and a saltwater tidal river, each producing extensive and different types of wetlands. These diverse ecosystems and their transitional zones generate an abundant variety of plants and animals and represent the natural history of the lower coastal plain of the state.

The Ashley River played a central role in the history of South Carolina. The colony's first English settlement was established along its banks at Albemarle Point in 1670. Originally named the Kiawah River after the region's Native American inhabitants, the river was renamed in honor of Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, one of the original Lords Proprietors. A decade later the settlement was relocated to the peninsula downstream, where the Ashley joins the Cooper to form an outstanding harbor, opening into the Atlantic. This juncture enabled Charleston to become a major colonial seaport, even though the Ashley was short and did not connect the seaport with the interior via a navigable waterway. This circumstance helped isolate the Lowcountry from the upstate and promoted settlement of the upstate by immigrants from North Carolina and Virginia rather than from Charleston.

Although limited to the coastal area, the Ashley did serve as an important route of regional transportation and commerce. Its navigable terminus was Dorchester, a major trading post settled in 1697 about twenty miles upstream from Charleston. Along the river's length were established prominent plantations, such as Middleton Place, Magnolia, and Drayton Hall. Vessels ranging from canoes to rice barges and schooners connected these places and were manned by Europeans and African Americans, both enslaved and free. During the postbellum era, phosphate was mined extensively from lands on both sides of the Ashley, and docks for barges lined the river. These varied activities left some important archaeological sites. As a result of its historical significance and natural beauty, the Ashley was named a National Historic District in 1994 and a State Scenic River in 1999.

The irony is that its qualities also make the Ashley River highly vulnerable to the negative effects of suburban sprawl, pollution, and heavy boat traffic. Private organizations, public agencies, and citizens are taking steps to protect the Ashley and to find ways to balance conservation and growth. Caught amidst these contending pressures, the future of the Ashley River will indicate much about South Carolina in the years to come.

-- Excerpted from the entry by George McDaniel. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


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THE LIST | permalink
Five for pets


Carol Linville, the founder of Pet Helpers on Folly Road, has been a local animal rescue advocate for longer than our dog has had fleas. We asked her for her list of five things you can do for your pet.

  • Identify your pet with a microchip: In emergencies, collars can fall off, but microchips are permanent.

  • Provide your pet with clean water, food (according to a vet's recommendations), and shelter from the elements.

  • Spend time each day walking your dog on a leash; they enjoy this companionship.

  • Make sure your pets, especially if they spend a majority of their time outdoors, have their vaccines up to date.

  • Understand the pets look to you for protection, and most of all, provide them with love!

Find out the latest about Pet Helpers at

QUOTE | permalink
Recently ignorant

"An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."

-- Will Rogers (1879-1935)


(NEW) MOJA Opening Reception: 6 p.m., today, Courtyard of Dock Street Theatre, 133 Church St. A free reception to celebrate the kickoff of the annual MOJA Festival. Performances, art exhibitions and more from today through Oct. 3. Find out more online.

(NEW) Revival of Local Businesses: 7 to 9:30 p.m., today, 501 King St. The members of Lowcountry Local First are throwing a Revival, a celebration and rejuvenation of local independent businesses. Cary Ann Hearst and the Shifters will lead the choir and Rodney Lee Rogers of Pure Theater will ignite the congregation. There is no charge but donations will be accepted. Spirits and refreshments will be on hand.

(NEW) Huck Finn Fishing Festival: 9 a.m. to noon, Sept. 25, Colonial Lake. Open to kids between the ages of 4 and 12. Awards will be given to the top finishers in each age group (4-6, 7-9, 10-12). Other prizes will be awarded during a raffle at the end of the event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the fishing is between 9-11 a.m. Concessions will be available. Cost: $3 per child. Call 965-4002 for more information.

Film festival: 7 p.m., Sept. 25, Olde North Charleston Picture House, 4820 Jenkins Ave. A national nonprofit organization called "Lights. Camera. Help." is sponsoring a festival to celebrate cause-driven films in partnership with The Greater Park Circle Film Society. Nationally recognized and local films will be presented. Tickets are available online and at the event for a $10 donation.

Museum Mile Weekend: Sept. 25-26. Visit five museums, seven historic buildings and one powder magazine all for $20. This single Museum Mile Weekend pass gives you admission at 13 sites along Meeting Street. Many of the cultural institutions will also offer special programs during Museum Mile Weekend. Order online, call 722-2996 ext. 235, or buy in person at any official Charleston Area Visitor Center location. $20/adult, $10/child 12 and under.


Tax reform talk: 4:30 p.m., Sept. 29, The College Center at the Complex for Economic Development at Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Ave., Building 920. The Education Foundation and area chambers of commerce present Mike Fanning, executive director of the Olde English Consortium. Fanning will speak on South Carolina's tax system and the need for comprehensive tax reform to improve funding for public education, health and human services, public safety, roads and infrastructure and higher education. Free. More information online.

Cowboy Couture Gala: Sept 30, Memminger Auditorium. This gala features bolo ties, 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots to benefit the Hemangioma Treatment Foundation. After filling up on grub from Iverson Catering, hit the dance floor to bluegrass favorites by the Carolina Chocolate Drops and funk and soul ensemble The MAXX. A live auction has fantastic items in store. Tickets are $150 and can be ordered by phone (843) 647-8662 or online.

(NEW) Bubbly & Brew: 6 to 10:30 p.m., Oct. 7, Omar Shrine Temple, 176 Patriots Point Street, Mount Pleasant. The Second Annual Bubbly & Brew will benefit My Sister's House. Guests will dine on selections from High Thyme, Home Team BBQ, Gullah Cuisine and more as well as sip on champagne, cocktails from Firefly Distillery and beers from local brewers. A silent auction and live music from party band Permanent Vacation are planned. Tickets are $50 in advance and can be purchased online or $60 at the door.

Poetry and paint: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Oct. 26, The Meeting Place, 1077 East Montague Ave., North Charleston. An adult workshop featuring Poetry and Paint taught by Mary Harris and Karole Turner Campbell. Participants will be inspired to combine poetry and paint in a unique experience that combines two art forms. Materials are provided. Fee: $5. Registration begins one month ahead and ends two days prior to class.


We encourage you to follow us through Twitter @chascurrents.


11/22: Hamilton: Operation Home
Humphreys: Being healthier
Dittloff: Saltmarsh
Guerard: Veterans Day
Stanfield: Metanoia invests
Hannah: Immunologix
Clements: Red Cross
Roberts: Road myths
Jones, Patrick: Schools
Spencer: Fine Art Annual
Duncan: 220 years of service
Colbert: Smartphones
Barnette: Ballet season
Bailey: YESCarolina book
Crosland: HeadsUp on injuries
Starland: Visual arts
Vural: Art, essay contest
9/23: Blanchard: House in order
Barry: Going "social"
9/16: Hutchisson: Being green
Schleissman: Wood workshop
9/9: Kirby: Sobering success
Brooks: Great volunteers
9/2: Graul: Lowcountry Loc 1st


11/11: Early for Christmas?
On sharpening knives
On voting decisions
Fall color, parties
Squirrel away some pecans
New film on Jews, baseball
Making It Grow
Diving into the Lowcountry
Curbing domestic violence
Shrimp-baiting time
Tail-wagging and -gating
Urban gardening
Nirvana, Class of '14
History is interesting
Robert, Variety Store
Lazy? Boiled peanuts
Purple Toes book
Art opens doors
Lots to do on 4th
Ways to nab skeeters
Dump the Pump, more
Lots to do locally
Dancin' for dollars


11/22: Shared sacrifice
Media responsibility
11/8: No "new era" for SC
11/1: "Invest" isn't dirty word
10/25: Challenges ahead
10/11: Highway problem
Dupree and Senate
Haley-Sheheen race
Political, energy efficiency
British invasion
Meet Dave the Potter
Gulf pix make impact
Thank a teacher
Pharmacy, juice
Cherry juice, Gardner
Biden on Hollings
About Turkey
Campaign trash
Impatient electorate
Haley's thin record
Daddy-daughter trip
Gulf spill report


9/9: Busy with meetings
On biz interruptions
Pecha Kucha 7 coming
TwelveSouth again
Tech After 5 hits Chas
TwelveSouth scores praise
Facebook on privacy
Spark Charleston, more
Green Wizard, more
Encouraging biz signs
Biz fair, CED venture
Lowcountry tech hub
Advice on working with Boeing
1/21: Co-working group
1/7: Free library text questions


9/23: Shredding together
Saving money
Energy standards needed
Investing can be tied to ideals
8/5: Trident Tech green grant


11/22: 5 for going back to school
11/18: 5 on foreclosure
11/15: 5 for exercising
11/11: 5 to rid roadblocks
11/8: 5 for keeping warm
11/4: 5 favorite ballets
11/1: 5 for your face
10/28: 5 parenting tips
10/25: 5 on long-term care
10/21: 5 on childhood obesity
10/18: 5 homeless myths
10/14: 5 on breast cancer
10/11: 5 beef cuts
10/7: 5 back helpers
10/4: 5 for recruiting
9/30: 5 kids' books
9/27: 5 for kayaks
9/23: 5 for pets
9/20: 5 at the Gibbes
9/16: 5 date nights
9/13: 5 fall plants
9/9: 5 wine resources
9/6: 5 magical moments
9/2: 5 great preachers
8/30: 5 local runs
8/26: 5 great cookbooks
8/23: Creative five
8/19: 5 local blogs
8/16: More plaudits
5 local dog romps
8/9: New heritage sites
8/5: 5 around Chucktown
Bedside reading
7/29: Five for fall
Hollings library
7/22: Wine + Food fest
New Chas app
Chas at top
7/7: SC films
7/1: Keeping cool

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